BREAKING: Remains of Navy pilot Scott Speicher found

BREAKING: Remains of Navy pilot Scott Speicher found

An ongoing mystery of almost twenty years was solved today, and a missing Navy pilot finally got to come home. Marines have found the remains of Scott Speicher, whose F-18 Hornet was shot down by an Iraqi surface-to-air missile on January 18, 1991.

He was the first American to perish in the Persian Gulf War.

While originally listed as KIA, in 2001 the Navy changed his status to “missing-captured”, saying there was no credible information that he actually died in the crash, and that they believed he was being held captive by Iraqi insurgents. Captain Speicher was from my hometown of Jacksonville, FL. His name is listed on the Duval County Veterans Memorial Wall, and “Free Scott Speicher” bumper stickers and window decals were a regular sight around town. The lack of information about Speicher’s fate has been torturous not only to his family, but to the entire Jacksonville community, anxious to see one of their own come home.

And while the story ends sadly, at least he is coming home and his fate is finally known.

The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology has positively identified the remains of Captain Michael “Scott” Speicher, whose disappearance has bedeviled investigators since his jet was shot down over the Iraq desert on the first night of the 1991 war.

The Navy said the discovery illustrates the military’s commitment to bring its troops home.

“This is a testament to how the Navy never stops looking for one of its own. No matter how long it takes,” Commander Cappy Surette, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy, told FOX News.

Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations, added, “we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Captain Speicher and his family for the sacrifice they have made for our nation and the example of strength they have set for all of us.”

… Family spokeswoman Cindy Laquidara said relatives learned on Saturday that Speicher’s remains had been found.

“The family’s proud of the way the Defense Department continued on with our request” to not abandon the search for the downed pilot, she said. “We will be bringing him home.”

… Officials said Sunday that they got new information from an Iraqi citizen in early July, leading Marines stationed in Anbar province to a location in the desert which was believed to be the crash site of Speicher’s jet.

The Iraqi said he knew of two other Iraqis who recalled an American jet crashing and the remains of the pilot being buried in the desert.
“One of these Iraqi citizens stated that they were present when Captain Speicher was found dead at the crash site by Bedouins and his remains buried,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

He was positively identified through a jawbone found at the site and dental records, said Read Adm. Frank Thorp.

My heart breaks for his family, including two college-aged children who were toddlers when his plane was shot down. Captain Speicher made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. Hopefully his family will now be able to find some measure of peace.

RIP, Captain Speicher.


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